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Saudi Arabia's futuristic Neom city is luring top execs from overseas

REVEALED: Saudi Arabia’s futuristic Neom city is luring top executives from major US firms like Amazon and Cisco with TAX-FREE $1.1M salaries

  • Neom is offering senior executives $1.1M salaries to lure them from overseas 
  • The $500B megacity is Crown Prince bin Salman’s most ambitious project yet
  • Neom has attracted top talent from Amazon, General Electric and Cisco Systems
  • One perk for expats is the fact that Saudi Arabia charges no income tax

Saudi Arabia’s $500 billion megacity project Neom has lured top executives from US companies such as Amazon and Cisco with rich salary offers and the prospect of no income taxes, according to a new report.

Senior executives on Neom’s leadership team, composed of roughly 20 Saudis and foreigners, are being paid about $1.1 million each annually, according to internal documents reported by the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. 

It’s roughly double what the average American c-suite executive makes, though compensation at some US companies can also reach the millions, after perks and bonuses.

Neom, which includes plans for a 100-mile-long linear city dubbed The Line, is Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s most ambitious project yet, although it has also met with skepticism from some observers. 

Neom, which includes plans for a 100-mile-long linear city dubbed The Line (above), has lured top executives from US companies such as Amazon and Cisco with rich salary offers


Neom’s chief marketing officer Tim Shorrocks (left) was formerly a director at Amazon Web Services, while Joseph Bradley (right) was recruited from Cisco to lead technology and digital


Other foreign recruits at Neom include Vishal Wanchoo (left), former president and CEO of South Asia at General Electric, and Peter Terium (right), the former chief executive of German energy company RWE AG

The Line will located near the northwestern coastal area of the country 

To complete the vast project, Saudi Arabia is recruiting executive talent from overseas in areas such as technology, tourism and entertainment, sectors which the oil-rich kingdom has little prior experience in.

Top overseas recruits include Neom’s chief marketing officer Tim Shorrocks, formerly a director at Amazon Web Services. 

Joseph Bradley, a former executive at Cisco, has also been recruited to lead technology and digital at Neom.

Other foreign recruits at Neom include Vishal Wanchoo, former president and CEO of South Asia at General Electric, and Peter Terium, the former chief executive of German energy company RWE AG.

Adding to the allure, Saudi Arabia itself charges no income taxes, although American citizens typically still have to pay US income taxes no matter where they reside.

However, Terium, who is from the Netherlands, told the Journal that the ambitious scale and futuristic goals of the project were more of a draw than the pay and tax perks. 

‘Needless to say that building a 100 percent renewable energy system from scratch and the largest green hydrogen plant in the world is more of a motivator than the actual salary paid,’ he said.

Neom is being led by chief executive Nadhmi al-Nasr, whose compensation is undisclosed

To complete the vast project, Saudi Arabia is recruiting executive talent from overseas in areas such as technology, tourism and entertainment 

The Mirror Line will have vegetation, including vertical farming, a high-speed train, and create thousands of jobs 

The Journal reported that executive directors at Neom, a level below the senior executives, are paid an average salary of $660,000. 

Directors are paid $270,000 a year, senior managers receive $193,000 and managers $130,000, according to a list of positions, dated last year. 

The experience of managers and senior managers ranges from two to more than eight years, according to Neom’s careers website.

However, Neom does not seem as interested in spending lavishly on lower-level corporate workers, with the entry-level salary of $54,000 coming in far below what Wall Street firms and consultancies pay recent grads.

Neom is being led by chief executive Nadhmi al-Nasr, whose compensation is undisclosed.

A career website for Neom lists 78 open positions, including head of banking and ventures director.

Neom is part of the kingdom’s Vision 2030 national development plan into which Prince bin Salman has poured hundreds of billions of dollars, with the aim of transforming the Saudi economy, creating jobs for citizens, and reducing its dependence on oil. 

Neom is part of the kingdom’s Vision 2030 national development plan into which Prince Mohammed bin Salman (above) has poured hundreds of billions of dollars

Bin Salman has claimed he wants the Mirror Line to be ready by 2030, although engineers have said it could take 50 years to construct. A rendering of the project is seen above

A key component of the project, The Line, will consist of two 1,600 feet tall buildings that run parallel to each other across 75 miles of desert, coastal, and mountain landscapes. 

Bin Salman has claimed he wants the Mirror Line to be ready by 2030, although engineers have said it could take 50 years to construct.

The building is so long that it will sit on struts to take the curvature of the Earth into account, and will also have a high speed train line running underneath its length.  

If fully completed, the skyscraper will run from the Gulf of Aqaba, through a mountain range, and then extend along the coast into a desert ‘aerotropolis,’ the Wall Street Journal reported. 

Bin Salman also said that the project aimed to allow a million residents to meet within a five-minute walk and to travel end-to-end within a 20-minute stretch.

The costly project proposes to house five million people after its completion and a high-speed train will run underneath the buildings. It will also feature a marina for boats underneath the arch of the buildings. 

The plans call for the community of millions will also be fed through vertical farming that will be integrated into the walls of the shiny buildings, and residents will reportedly pay a subscription for three meals a day.

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